Column: The U.S. losing ground with moral authority
We live in a vicious world. It took about one hour before the Russians started gloating about the Navy Ship Yard massacre. Alexei Pushkov, chairman of a foreign affairs committee in the Russian Parliament tweeted: “A new shootout at Navy headquarters in Washington – a lone gunman ... nobody’s surprised anymore. A clear confirmation of American exceptionalism.”
The last line off Vladimir Putin’s New York Times op-ed from last week says there is no such thing as “American exceptionalism.”
Russia remains a bad country, full of internal corruption and, in its foreign policy, is supporting the worst elements on earth. Folks like the Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad and the murderous Mullahs in Iran can expect the full cooperation of Russia – along with all the arms they can buy.
Outrageous? You bet. But the sad truth is that the United States has largely lost the moral authority to call Russia out and the world knows it.
Much of America’s problem lies within. We are living in a narcissistic age where millions of folks have withdrawn from life as we used to know it and fabricated a false world for themselves on the internet. Instead of experiencing life in its many natural forms, folks are now rejecting face-to-face social interaction, preferring to spend their time on machines.
According to his friends, the Navy yard killer, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, spent almost every night playing violent video games, isolating himself from reality. Then he apparently snapped. It will happen again.
With its emphasis on abundance, the United States has become a target of intense jealousy all over the world. Even poor Americans have conveniences many people overseas will never have. A recent study by the Census Bureau says the most poor Americans have color TVs, air conditioners, computers, cell phones, almost every modern convenience. Poverty is a serious situation and I don’t mean to belittle it, but here in the U.S. the poor are better off than most other places on the planet, proving that democracy and capitalism do work.
But you’ll never convince the anti-American people of that. Therefore any excuse to diminish this country will be seized by them. And we, the people are giving our foes tons of ammunition, so to speak. We continue to be a violent society with much of the carnage fueled by angry young men who lacked a father while growing up.
The only solution to the violence problem in America is a return to traditional parental involvement. This should be encouraged by every elected official. Also, the abandonment and neglect of children by their parents should have civil consequences.
I mean who exactly is looking out for children who are ignored? The answer right now: No one.
America remains a great country, a place where most people have a decent chance at a successful life if they’re honest and work hard. But we have lost our way when it comes to family matters.
And the bullets prove it.
Bill O’Reilly is host of the Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” and is an author and columnist.